European Data Protection Digest

Gov’t Sets Paperless Deadline, Some Fear Privacy’s End

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—UK

January 17, 2013

UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to require all hospitals to digitize patient records within the next 12 months so they can be shared among health professionals across the country, The Telegraph reports. Hunt said records would not be shared without patient consent and the digitised system will not be centrally located. “If banks can develop systems where people are confident about their money, it must be possible for the NHS to develop systems where people are confident about their privacy,” said Hunt. Recent patient privacy breaches have some concerned that the system could lead to compromised privacy, the report states. One security expert is criticising the government’s plans to digitise records, saying the plans have not been adequately thought through and will “mean the end of privacy for people’s medical records.” Meanwhile, BBC News discusses privacy concerns surrounding whether anonymisation is truly possible when it comes to NHS Big Data projects involving DNA.
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